Stories about Michael Jordan's secret golf course, nicknamed 'Slaughterhouse 23,' are starting to leak
- Michael Jordan's golf club, Grove XXIII, opened in 2019.
- The exclusive club has fewer than 100 members, and tee times are invite-only.
- Jordan set the course up to his advantage, earning it the nickname "Slaughterhouse 23."
Michael Jordan's golf course has been open since only 2019, but the stories around the secretive club have already become the stuff of legend.
Part of the growing legend is that Jordan swears his members and guests to secrecy, as noted by Jon "Stugotz" Weiner of "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz." Weiner played a round at Grove XXIII as a guest in February.
"You can't really carry a phone around," Weiner said. "You're not supposed to tell too many stories about it." He later added that photos are forbidden inside the clubhouse.
Despite the course's hush-hush nature, stories have leaked that start to paint a picture.
The course is located in Hobe Sound, near Jordan's Florida home, and has already hosted some of the biggest names in golf and sports at large. The site was formerly an orange grove, helping inspire the course's name.
As a golf course designed with Jordan in mind, Grove XXIII delivers as both an opportunity for casual play and, of course, some gambling.
According to Golf Digest, the course unfurls in a way that allows it to be played in several circuits, twisting 18 holes in a double-helix that allows for a full round and abridged nine-, six-, and three-hole outings. This design allows for shorter, more variant outings and gives players easy access to an emergency playoff hole should a few extra dollars be at stake.
While the course goes by the formal name of Grove XXIII, the PGA pro Rickie Fowler has said that it has already earned a more fitting nickname: Slaughterhouse 23.
The name comes from the fact that the course was designed by Jordan, for Jordan, and aimed at maximizing Jordan's style of play against his opponents.
"The shorter you hit it, the wider it is," Fowler told Golf.com. "He can basically hit driver on all the par 4, par 5s. And if I want to hit driver, I have to kind of put it into a bit of a tighter spot. I can obviously play back if I want, but that becomes a little bit of a disadvantage, especially if it's a hole where he's getting a stroke on."
"If I'm giving him a shot, I can't then play from the same spot he is when he's laying zero," Fowler said. "I'm not sure the last time it broke 70, but he can shoot anywhere from 71 to 74.
"If he's shooting 77 and he's got a double in there, I got to shoot 65 to get to 18!"
But for all of Jordan's advantages, Grove XXIII also has plenty to offer to the guests.
The NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, who co-owns the team 23XI Racing with Jordan, gave a rave review of the course after playing alongside Fowler in 2020.
"The course was unbelievable," Hamlin said. "There's only 75 members. Hopefully to be 76 here in the next few weeks, so it was really an honor to be invited and be a member at such an exclusive place. It's really new, just a few months old. It's going to be fun to do for the next 20 to 30 years, as long as I'm able to play."
And, of course, there are references to Jordan's playing days built into the design. According to Weiner, the course's most challenging tee markers are in Carolina blue, a shoutout to Jordan's alma mater, the University of North Carolina. The shorter tee markers are in black and red for the Chicago Bulls.
In addition to the course itself, Grove XXIII features a state-of-the-art clubhouse that includes men's and women's locker rooms, lounge areas, a retail shop, and dining facilities, according to GQ. The clubhouse also gives guests a stunning view across the course players are about to take on, as course designer Bobby Weed told Golf Digest.
"We started to gradually raise this land where the clubhouse is, and as we did, we realized we had views across the whole course," Weed said. "We could see everything."
On the course, there are even more amenities, including a drone delivery service that brings beer and other refreshments to players mid-round. Several guests have shared videos of their drone delivery on social media.
-Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 9, 2020
There are still plenty of secrets about Grove XXIII, but it's obvious why guests and members have enjoyed their rounds there.
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